Oil company BP is trying again with its latest tactic to stem the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
It wants to siphon oil that is still spewing from a damaged well and bring it up 1,600 metres to a ship waiting to collect it on the surface.
The deep-sea plan failed at the first attempt on Friday. BP’s Chief Operating Officer Doug Suttles explained what went wrong, saying:
“The challenge here is working in 5,000 feet of water. We’ve talked about that a lot. What happened last night: this tool sits in a metal frame so that the drill pipe from the Discovery Enterprise – the drill ship – can connect to it. When they attempted to connect to it, the frame shifted so they were unable to make that connection.”
It has been nearly four weeks since the leak started, when an offshore rig exploded, killing 11 workers.
The White House has asked BP to clarify that it will pay for the entire cost to the Gulf coast’s fishing and tourism industries and not invoke a law that limits the payment at 75 million US dollars.